The Virus

Internationally renowned food critic Pierre Broderick,
abandoned his scathing attack on the presentation,
of the worst dessert he’d sampled in a generation,
to admire the most exquisite creature in his universe.
Resisting a second and third glance
was akin to silently stepping in semi molten granite.
That visual banquet strolled from Pierre’s life
before he could jokingly ask her to be his wife.
Was she the artistic genius of his imagination,
a malevolent dunce with less creative flair
than a garage porn director, or between extremes?

That night, Pierre met Satan at The Fallen Angel.
The statue of Buddha was a Juke Box.
Yahweh’s pupils were disco balls
and his beard a haven for finches and wrens.
These days the Prince of Darkness
is a helicopter salesman,
who shares Pierre’s love of bird watching,
mountain climbing and knitting.
The psychedelic food critic was certain
his bright red skin and razor sharp horns
weren’t an illusion.
He mentioned his yearning for Mariah.
Satan promised to help.

Pierre’s clairvoyant confidante, Jeremiah Elijah the 2nd,
a proud franchisee of Sutton’s Psychic Therapy,
claimed a smorgasbord of delicious luck
awaited his gustatory adviser.
Pierre probed for intel on Mariah Bordeaux
“Legend has it that vivacious Goddess
was imprisoned in an otherwise empty cage,
for a month, without dropping a dress size”
was all the self proclaimed sage had to say.

“Wear odd socks, one golden, one midnight black,
for good luck, Elijah advised
before Mariah’s debut exhibition.
Her psychedelic self-portraits
hung beside a golden hornet’s invasion
of a honey farming glow worms fortress.
That insectoid farmer composed symphonies
with shifting patterns on its luminous skin.
The classical music loathing hornet retreated.

As Pierre sought Mariah’s autograph
she looked down her patrician nose
at his off the rack clothes.
Once she caught a glimpse of his odd socks
he thought she’d call security.

“At last, the man with one golden sock
and the other as dark as a forest night.
My psychic told me he’s the cunnilingus magician I seek.”
“Jeremiah, you sly dog”, Pierre texted.
“Ready to get on your knees James?” Mariah purred.
“Sorry darling, I was hoping for someone
more compassionate than a branding iron,
closer to monogamy than a bonobo
and less sacrilegious than a brothel in a cathedral.
Declaring yourself more enticing
than Mary, Mother of God,
in a mini skirt and crotchless panties,
is the most chaste remark you’ve made all evening.”
“Whatever, you’re addicted to my depravity,
you down on your knees is as sure as gravity” Mariah crooned.

Pierre swaggered away like the ultimate alpha
but felt like an alcoholic fleeing a bar.
Run, a diver surfacing from the ocean
of his subconscious pleaded.
The click of Mariah’s high heels
was as hypnotic as tribal drums.
She corralled Pierre in a storeroom
and parted the teeth of his zipper
with bewitching slowness.

In his disembodied state,
Pierre heard someone squealing in delight.
The journey into Mariah’s wild, hungry eyes
reduced a burst water main humbling orgasm
to a mere footnote.
“It’s time for your diving lesson Pierre”
Mariah breathed in his ear.

With every trace of tension gone,
the marble storage room floor
felt as good as a four poster bed
resplendent in silk sheets.

After weeks of fasting, Pierre felt as full as an anaconda
that treats jaguars like jelly beans.
“Legend has it Mariah was imprisoned in a glass ball
for a month, without food or drink
and didn’t drop a single dress size.” Jeremiah once said,
in the mock serious tone
he’d mentioned the Lochness Monster gate crashing his pool party.
Hunger pangs finally hit.
There was only one food Pierre craved.
Within minutes of pleasuring Mariah,
he felt like he’d won the world pie eating championships.
The former food critic was more puzzled
than a Neolithic tribesman in a quantum computing lab.

“How could your nectar be as nourishing
as a feast for fifty, Mariah” Pierre probed.
“Nutritionists and pathologists say my magic well
contains fewer calories than diet cola.
It’s infested with DNA reprogramming viruses
that render food as toxic as funnel web venom
and the appetite as absent as Peter Dutton’s conscience.
Carriers convert air pollution into nutrients.
Too long without worshipping my love tunnel
and they’ll be as emaciated as anorexic junkies.
Literary demolitions of my grandfather’s restaurants
are treated like treason.
Your passion for garlic and basil sprinkled barramundi,
soaked in lemon juice, followed by homemade
passionfruit and pineapple iced cream
is as dead as lava swimmers.

After Mariah banished Pierre from her harem
she revealed there was an antidote.
He’d long since sold his house and car
to buy a helicopter from Satan,
for travelling to and from pristine mountain air
quickly enough to avoid starvation.

“The man who sells the antidote created the viruses
during stints in germ warfare labs.
He’s quite the entrepreneur, he sells helicopters too”
“Is his name Satan by any chance?”
“No, I think it’s Sutton.”

Pierre returned to The Fallen Angel.
The helicopter salesman no longer had horns
or skin as bright red as Mariah’s stretch lace lingerie.
“I heard you’ve been banished from Mariah’s harem,
where are you going to
replenish your stocks of the virus now?”
Satan, or Sutton as he calls himself these days, sneered,
as he poured a test tube of the virus into his  beer.

“I must return to my life as a food critic,
how much for the antidote”
“Give me your soul and it’s free.
I can throw in a branch of Sutton’s Psychic Therapy,
for fifty per cent off, if you wish.

Paradoxically, the antidote was fresh air.
A pure country breeze restored Pierre’s appetite.
On the verge of death, he crawled to the nearest pub.
Potato wedges with sour cream and sweet chili sauce
overshadowed his grandest 3 Michelin star adventures.
As he sipped from a bottle of boutique beer,
Pierre pondered how to regain his soul,
without gourmet delights repulsing him
like aging road kill marinated in sewage.





Biohazard, Halloween Signage by Bill Dickinson


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